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The photograph collection held at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand comprises two main parts – the RNZAF Official negative collection and photographs that have been donated to the Museum.  

For the first time ever, the public can browse digitised parts of our photograph collection, online. Over 25,000 images are currently available, which represents an estimated 0.5% of the total collection. More images are being uploaded online every day to our Fotoware database.

On the Home page you’ll see several albums, including those labelled with the names of bases or stations. These contain a sample of RNZAF Official images linked to that particular station or base. More of these albums will be added in due course. These are all sub-sets, however, of the ‘Search the Collection’ album, which contains everything available to date, so we recommend starting there.

Air Force Museum

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can either try again later, or contact the Keeper of Photographs so a search can be made of the rest of the photograph collection. Any results will be posted on the online database. Depending on the number of enquiries being dealt with, response times will vary, and we thank you in advance for your patience. 

Please read the copyright statement below to familiarise yourself with the terms of use for these images. Click the link below to explore our image database – this will redirect you to a new site.

To return to the Air Force Museum website, simply click ‘back’ or open a new window in your browser.

Still life featuring a negative, light meter, gloves and a magnifier. Air Force museum of New Zealand.

The collection of photographs held at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand comprises two parts – the RNZAF Official negative collection and photographs that have been donated to the Museum.  

Please read the following, which explains your rights regarding the usage and reproduction of assets contained in the online collection of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.  Any enquiries regarding the usage of these images should be addressed to: communications@airforcemuseum.co.nz

RNZAF Official photographs are subject to Crown Copyright and are released under the Creative Commons license ‘Attribution – Non-Commercial’. You are free to copy, distribute and adapt the image but you must attribute the photograph to ‘RNZAF Official’ and abide by other license terms. 

Many of the Air Force Museum collection photographs are subject to copyright and are released under the Creative Commons license ‘Attribution – Non-Commercial’ You are free to copy, distribute and adapt the image but you must attribute the photograph to ‘Air Force Museum of New Zealand’ and abide by other license terms.  

Some images may be subject to the ‘Flags, Emblems and Names Protection Act 1981’ and cannot be used in such a way that infringes this Act. 

Photographs of identifiable individuals may be subject to the ‘Privacy Act 1993’ and as such the permission of those individuals may need to be sought prior to distribution of the image. 

This material cannot be used to imply an endorsement from, or an association with, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) or the Air Force Museum of New Zealand without the written permission of either entity. This material can not be used for political purposes or in a way contrary to either the NZDF or the Air Force Museum’s apolitical position. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t I find a picture of my relative?

Unfortunately, not everyone in the RNZAF has been photographed and often names were never recorded. During World War Two, pilots courses and some other air crew courses have photographs but there are virtually no ground-crew groups. Post-War, most trades were photographed, but most of these aren’t yet digitised, or available via our Fotoware database. 

If you’d like to request a search of the non-digitised collection, please contact the Keeper of Photographs by submitting a research enquiry here.

Can I download a photograph and use it?

Yes. For private, non-commercial or educational purposes, you are free to use the photos as you wish.  

If you are publishing a book or internet page, permission must first be obtained from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.  
In all cases you must credit the source – either ‘RNZAF Official’ or ‘Air Force Museum of New Zealand.’ 

How much does it cost?

All images available can be downloaded at no cost.  

Please see question above. 

What database are you using?

We use Fotoware, which is designed for image libraries, including GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums). It is used extensively internationally, including by numerous museums and galleries in Australia.

Open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm (except Christmas Day)
Entry to the Museum is free, donations are appreciated.

45 Harvard Ave, Wigram, Christchurch | 03 343 9532

We welcome visitors of all abilities